24th Straight Year of NASCAR Xfinity Sponsorship to be Marked by Return to Justin Allgaier & #7 JRM Team
Three things are certain with the anticipation of the Northeastern Supply Company’s 24th consecutive season of driver and team sponsorship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017.
The first is a fourth consecutive season supporting a driver and race team out of the JR Motorsports stable. The second is support of a driver and team that finished third in the Xfinity Series inaugural Chase for the Championship and thus challenged for the title. Third and most noteworthy is the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, hardware and water systems distributor’s decision to return to support Justin Allgaier and the #7 BRANDT Professional Agricultural team.
Having backed the efforts this past season of championship runner-up finisher Elliott Sadler, Northeastern Supply was looking to move its sponsorship around the JR Motorsports organization in 2017 before settling on Allgaier, who returned to full-time Xfinity Series competition in 2016 after two years of trying his luck in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The change apparently renewed the competitive spirit in Allgaier this past season and Northeastern Supply officials took notice.
“We watched Justin compete well in the Xfinity Series when we sponsored him and his team in Xfinity Series action back in 2011,” said Northeastern President/CEO Steve Cook. “He was an aggressive driver who wanted to win every race and that registered with us. Then he enjoyed such a great season this past year in finishing third in the championship.
“But it was the ability he showed when we last sponsored him to interact with our customers that provided us with the comfort level to make the decision to move our support next season to the #7 BRANDT team and Justin. We’re looking forward to another big year for them as well as for our customers,” Cook added. Despite not winning a race in 2016, Allgaier actually enjoyed his best season ever in Xfinity Series competition. In 33 starts, the #7 Chevrolet finished on the lead lap 29 times and earned top five finishes on 13 occasions and 27 in the top 10. Allgaier’s average finish was 9.1 and with an average start of 8.7 en route to qualifying for the championship finale, Round of 4, in Homestead, Florida in the very first season in which NASCAR implemented the Chase format in the Xfinity Series after several successful seasons in the Sprint Cup. Of the four eligible drivers who competed for the best finish at Homestead to win the title, Allgaier and Sadler represented JR Motorsports while eventual champion Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones carried the Joe Gibbs Racing banner.
All of Allgaier’s marks in 2016 were career highs for the Riverton, Illinois driver who first began his NASCAR Xfinity Series career in 2008 with four starts. Allgaier then embarked on five straight seasons of full-time Xfinity Series competition for Turner Motorsports before moving up to the Cup Series in 2014.
“Justin has a great personality, and he has matured greatly since the last time we sponsored him in the Xfinity Series,” Cook explained. “His on-track performance last season, topped by his really stout effort at Homestead that had him running near the front the entire race, showed what he could do in good equipment and JR Motorsports certainly showed that all season with all of its cars and teams. We’re looking for even better things from Justin in 2017,” Cook added.
Allgaier is excited to be renewing his acquaintance with Northeastern Supply and for the company’s desire to remain with JR Motorsports. “Northeastern Supply has been a great, long-standing partner for JR Motorsports, and I’m really looking forward to having them represented on my #7 Chevrolet Camaro next season,” Allgaier said. “I had the pleasure of working with them (Northeastern Supply) in the past and they have such a great employee and customer base. I’m excited to reunite with them in 2017 and continue to strengthen our relationship,” he added.
Allgaier is the latest in the impressive line of drivers and teams in the Xfinity Series that Northeastern Supply has supported over these 24 straight seasons and the second time that the company returned to sponsor a driver for a second stretch. The first occurred in 2006 when the Northeastern banner was carried by Jason Keller for a second time while driving for Phoenix Racing after boasting of Northeastern backing in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 campaigns when Keller earned five of his 10 career Xfinity Series victories for team owner Greg Pollex.
Other drivers that the Northeastern Supply Company has sponsored full-time over the years include Regan Smith, Jason Leffler, JJ Yeley, Kenny and Mike Wallace, Hank Parker, Jr. and Phil Parsons, with Smith, Leffler and Parsons earning their support for multiple campaigns.